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Mike

Special Hobby
Fiat CR.32 Freccia/Chirri 1:48 (48182)

8 posts in this topic

Fiat CR.32 Freccia/Chirri

1:48 Special Hobby

 

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The CR.32 was an evolutionary development of an earlier Fiat Biplane fighter, and was thrown into the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Nationalist forces against the i-16s of the Republicans.  It was renowned for being nimble, and its aerobatic prowess meant that it stayed in service longer than it perhaps should have, as it could still shoot down more modern monoplanes if handled by an experienced pilot.  A product of the early 30s, it was already obsolete by the beginning of WWII, but it remained in service with the Italian Regia Aeronautica until well into the way, although its deployment was away from the leading edge of technology, where it still managed to hold its own.  Eventually, the remaining airframes in Italian service were relegated to training duties, replaced by modern al-metal monoplanes such as the Folgore.

 

Spain license produced a number of airframes named Chirri, which were essentially the same aircraft with some minor differences, and these fought alongside the Italian-build Freccis, and the remaining airframes were later converted to two-seat configuration and used as aerobatic trainers until the early 50s.

 

 

The Kit

The origin of this kit lies with Classic Airframes in the 1990s, and is now being released under the Special Hobby banner with revised decals and packaging.  Inside the box are two sprues of shiny grey styrene, which are showing some signs of age, and could do with a little tidy-up before you commence construction, especially the wings, which seem to have picked up some artefacts over the years.  None of this is too taxing however, and the shiny surface shows up any blemishes nicely.  Also included is a bag of resin parts that are nicely detailed, although a few had come loose from their casting blocks due to the kicking it probably received in the Christmas post.  A couple of the vanes around the nose have been damaged too, but I’m confident that they can be repaired with a little care.  A single clear part is provided in its own bag, and the final bag contains the decal sheet, plus two small sheets of Photo-Etch (PE), one of which is nickel-plated and pre-painted.  The instruction booklet is A5 on glossy paper and in full colour, with the decaling and painting guide to the rear.

 

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First impressions are a little mixed, due to the short-run nature of the Classic Airframe (CA) moulds, and the wing parts being in comparatively poor shape compared to the fuselage, plus the good quality resin parts.  That said, this is probably the most mainstream kit of this little fighter now that it is under the Special Hobby name.  Construction begins with a choice of tail, with two options requiring the modeller to cut the rudder off the fuselage halves, and both have elevator slots that need opening out before you can proceed.  Attention then turns to the cockpit, which is mostly a mixture of resin and PE parts, which should result in great detail when painted sympathetically. As well as the sidewalls being detailed with PE parts, the seat gets a harness, and in the footwell there are a set of PE rudder pedals included.  A pre-painted instrument panel lamination is installed at the front of the cockpit tub, which builds into a rounded box that fits between the fuselage halves.  The nose is missing from the fuselage halves, and is provided as a single resin part that has excellent detail, especially around the radiator fins and intake.  The elevators have their pins to hold them in place, and optional fin-swap is a butt-joint that could benefit from some reinforcement.  The lower wings are also butted against their root fairings on the fuselage, so a little judicious pinning would be a sensible option, all of which speaks of the short-run origins of this kit.

 

The windscreen, sighting devices and cabane struts are added to the top of the fuselage, after which the upper wing can be added, with one camo option needing 3.5mm removing from the "nose" at the wing centre.  PE actuators for the flying surfaces are supplied all-round, and the small aerofoil-like balances on the ailerons.  The wheels, gear legs and spats are all styrene parts, as are the two-bladed prop and spinner, but the under-nose radiator and a pair of small bombs on their carriers under the fuselage are resin, with additional detail possible because of this.  Finally, there is no rigging guide included with the kit, but as there is minimal used on this aircraft, a few pictures from different angles should suffice to allow you to plan the process.

 

 

Markings

Four camouflage options are possible from the box, and all of them have some quite complex camouflage, as was often seen on anything Italian during that period.  Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

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From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  1. Fiat CR.32 Freccia 163-10/MM 3518, 163 Squadriglia, Rhodes, June 1940.
  2. Fiat CR.32 Freccia V-105 (C.No.315) 1/1. "Ijjázs" vadászszázad (1/1. Squadron "The Archer") early 1939.
  3. Fiat CR.32 Chirri 3-61 (C.No.111) Capitán Angel Salas Larrazábal, Leader of Escuadrilia 2-E-3 Aviación Nacional (Franco's rebel air force), Zaragoza, August 1937.
  4. Fiat CR.32 Quarter Freccia 160-10/MM.4666, pilot capitano Duilio Fanali, 160 Squadriglia, 12° Gruppo 50° Stormo D'assalto, Tobruk T2 base, July 1940.

 

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Conclusion

It's an old kit, but it still has the potential to become a good representation of this last-gasp of the biplane age that fought in many combat zones, with a number of well-known pilots.

 

Recommended to the more experienced modeller.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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thanks for the review!

 

I am searching for a reasonably prized one for quite some time, so the re-release is very welcome!

 

I want to build it in Austrian markings though....  :)

 

 

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A well build and painted Fiat could be the highlight of the collection for sure.

1 person likes this

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On ‎11‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 14:40, BerndM said:

A well build and painted Fiat could be the highlight of the collection for sure.

A couple of those schemes would drive you mad tho!

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What's the reason for the double set of wheels?

IIRC, there was an Austrian option in the original box.

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3 hours ago, Antoine said:

What's the reason for the double set of wheels?

IIRC, there was an Austrian option in the original box.

Never noticed that until you mentioned it.

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So you'll easily understand why from now on you'll be restricted to Misercraft kits reviews only.

By the way, what about this Il-2???

:devil:

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2 hours ago, Antoine said:

So you'll easily understand why from now on you'll be restricted to Misercraft kits reviews only.

 

:frantic: 

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